Editor, the Record:
Even though one in 10 Americans will have a seizure at some point in their life, the public is largely unaware how prevalent and serious the condition can be. I myself can attest to this: I am the mother of two wonderful children who live with epilepsy. It’s time that individuals learn the facts. November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, and I am working with the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania to increase public understanding and acceptance of epilepsy.
Epilepsy is more common than one could ever imagine. There are more than 110,000 people with epilepsy in eastern Pennsylvania alone. Yet many people cannot properly recognize a seizure or know what to do when someone has one. As a result, many individuals with epilepsy often feel socially isolated and are fearful. This could improve if we all learned a little more.
Here are a few simple facts that can go a long way to improving our community:
- Seizures are not always convulsive; there are many different types of seizures.
- If you see someone having a convulsive seizure, you should turn them on their side and cushion their head, but do not put anything in their mouth.
- Seizures are not always an emergency — only call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than five minutes.
- Epilepsy is not contagious and seizures are not dangerous to anyone witnessing one.
- Purple is the official color for Epilepsy Awareness. Please show your support by wearing purple in November.
Making a difference isn’t hard; knowledge and understanding go a long way. As someone affected by epilepsy, I strongly encourage everyone to get educated by visiting efepa.org. The smallest steps of learning about epilepsy can make the biggest impact in the lives of people who live with epilepsy.
By MADELINE CASSINO, via the Pocono Summit